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12 July, 2011

Time to Drink Coffee? / Luis Felipe Rojas

Remarks :

While all this has been happening for decades in Castros' gulag and the rationning of 

Coffee as well as most of the cuban products have been under a stringent rationning

with the amounts of each item reduced to a bare minimal of four ounces a week, anyone in Canada, spain or Italy can find CubanCoffee in bags or packages of 


Now the readers should make  or come to their own conclussions...

Time to Drink Coffee? / Luis Felipe Rojas

Posted by: "PL"   cubaverdad

Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:09 pm (PDT)

Luis Felipe Rojas, Translator: Raul G. 

On this Sunday morning, I savor a good cup of coffee given to me by good 
friends who have offered me a safe place to stay while my wife informs 
me that police officials are looking for me back in San German. I will 
share some opinions with you all about how the history of coffee has 
changed in my country.

As a child I was raised by my Grandmother Maria, who would send me off 
to school, along with my other cousins,after a good cup of coffee and a 
piece of buttered bread, cheese, or some sort of meat that may have been 
left over from the previous night.

Now, the Cuban government has once again promoted coffee mixed with 
"substitutes" as the only way of drinking the dark liquid which is so 
popular amongst Cuban families. During these days I can't help but 
remember the beginnings of the 1980′s when coffee was sold in grains in 
Cuba. Every fifteen days a truck would distribute some rationed ounces 
of this coffee which people would take home, toast it, and grind it. But 
that is history, a past which will not return for now to the island.

Drinking pure coffee over here these days is just as dangerous as 
killing a cow to eat its meat. Traveling from one town to another with 
grains of coffee in your backpack constitutes taking part in "illegal 
business". If an inspector or a police officer catches you, the fine for 
"illegality" given to you can never be absolved. I know people who get 
headaches if they don't at least drink one small cup of coffee per day. 
I have even met people who toast plantains as a substitute for coffee.

For those who didn't know, in Holguin there was a coffee toaster in the 
center of the city, near the provincial Pediatric Hospital. The smoke 
which would spread throughout the surroundings was overwhelming, it was 
a toxic and bothersome residue whenever the white beans were being 
toasted, which happened often.

As far as I have understood, the International Coffee Organization 
recently stated that coffee which has been mixed more than 5% should not 
be considered coffee. This is pretty alarming for us if we take into
consideration the little chart which is stamped on the envelope of
rationed coffee which says that is has been mixed 50%.

On Cuban television, as well as in provincial newspapers, the same 
defenders of the same misdemeanors as always have come out. In the 
"Ahora" newspaper of Holguin someone explained how to prepare coffee in 
the coffee machine, as if it was the same thing as trying to figure out 
how to set up a computer or how to move around in a space shuttle. The 
article made allusions to a few weeks ago when various of these coffee 
packs exploded. An official from a provincial company in Havana even 
went on to say that before such a measure was taken, the coffee has been 
mixed even more than 50%, forgetting to cite that this information was 
never announced to the people.

According to the misinformation services, just as much as the TV or the 
written media, we Cubans should agree on each measure taken without 
protesting. And, a very interesting fact according these same services- 
each action that is taken is in favor of the people.

We mustn't be surprised if tomorrow they announce that rice will be sold 
mixed with some other sort of substitute.

Translated by Raul G.

10 July 2011

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